I discovered the lovely Laura, after reading a fitness thread on Mumsnet. I wasn’t happy with the levels of exercise I was doing, basically lots of walking, mostly attached to a collie, by means of a blue lead, poo bag attachment banging away against my knuckles. I wanted to get back into some sort of fitness habit and had been unable to do anything like jogging, for the last few years, due to ill health. But once surgery and its recovery, were a thing of the past, I was keen to get fit again. So after reading all the positive comments, about the NHS couch to 5K plan, I checked out their website and downloaded the podcasts.
Now if you are a seasoned runner, doing a couple of marathons a day, you’ll probably just read this and chuckle smugly to yourself. But if you are anything like me, and felt you couldn’t even possibly run for 1 minute, without having the emergency services on stand by, this could be for you. C25K is the perfect way, to ease yourself into getting fitter.
Its fantastic and I don’t know why the NHS don’t publicise it more.If someone like me, who has issues with oxygen levels and trying to get enough air into my lungs, after huffing up a slight incline, or jogging into the wind can do it, then it should be a doddle for most people. I started in the depths of winter, slithering out of my snug, warm bed, into my running gear and plunging my body out of the door, into the dark, cold winter morn. There were two reasons for this, the first being its the only time I could dedicate to running, that wouldn’t be snatched by the time thieves, who lurk within the realm of my life. Secondly, in the dark, there would be less people likely to witness my huffing, puffing, dodery self, pounding along the pavements, in my old joggy bottoms and my daughter’s running jacket.
Which brings me to my next point, you don’t need a lot of things to get started, decent running shoes and a good sports bra. You might think this only applies if you are a woman, but if you’ve let yourself go in a big way, those manboobs could probably do with a bit of support, when you first start jogging. I haven’t invested in a whole new running outfit, mainly because I doubted I would be able to keep up with the plan, the forlorn clothing would have just taunted me, adding to my feelings of guilt. So far no one has jeered at me in public about my clothing choice, the mornings are getting lighter, so my saggy, old joggy bots, are often highlighted, by the rays of the morning sun to an unflattering degree.
I’ve finally made it to Week 6, in fact I’ve just finished wk 6 run 3, 25 minutes of non stop running. I never thought I would manage to reach this stage when I started, but this morning, it was 25 minutes without a problem. You would be mistaken, if you thought I had been doing the C25K challenge for 6 weeks though. Oh no, week 4 and particularly week 5, have proved to be somewhat of a Groundhogs Day for me. Illness, snow, offspring illness and gardening related injury, have had me looped into repeating those weeks. I have persevered, despite the strong temptation to lean over, when the alarm went off , plug in my headphones and let Laura talk me through the warm up, jog, walk routine, while I lay snuggly in my bed.
The play list isn’t that good, but it works with the jogging. Laura has such a soothing, encouraging voice, telling you “well done” , as you jog for the first time in years, the icy, winter wind, ripping the very breath from your body. You begin to wonder, have you entered some waking nightmare, and decide you would gladly let the killer zombies rip you apart, as long as you didn’t have to try and lug one limb in front of the other and propel your body forward as well. Then lo and behold, the voice of the angel talks to you, via your headphones, giving words of support, taking you back in time, to Reception class, with an empathetic teacher offering praise to you.
I’m really pleased with my progress. I feel good about myself, in fact I feel positively saintly, on the mornings when the weather has been foul and I have still gone out, pounding the streets with Laura. I’d forgotten the buzz you can get from exercise, I’m enjoying it and have already started to plan what to do after week 9. I’ve looked into Park Runs, half marathons and even in year or two, maybe a full fat marathon could be within my grasp or wobbly buttocks.
Maybe the lovely Laura could do other podcasts for the NHS, talk me through stepping away from the cake/alcohol/chocolate etc. Her empathetic voice could tell me to put down the phone and takeaway curry menu, tackle a homemade curry instead. I can just hear her voice telling me ” well done, I knew you could do it” as I start chopping the vegetables.